It’s a bit galling when a sweater of one’s own design takes up designs against one. Maude Louise II was nearly done when I tried to add a garter stitch button band that turned out to be a Very Bad Idea. The garter stitch was loose and floppy and moreover I had picked up too many stitches, which resulted in a very ugly, very discouraging giant floppy button band. Somewhat daunted, I started again with a different band using smaller needles and fewer stitches. Too small needles, actually, and too few stitches. Overcompensation is a dangerous thing. Button band v. 2.0 was too tight and caused the panel edge to curl into a fetching half moon.
This button band is too big! This button band is too little! What I needed was Baby Bear’s Just Right.
And lo, it turned out that Just Right meant picking up an in between number of stitches and knitting a stockinette button band that doubles back on itself, strengthening its edge by so doing. No flop, and a very pretty button band that’s not stylistically at odds with the sweater. And less seaming! I much prefer the new button band to the old.
I’m not sure if this is de rigueur, since I’ve never actually looked up how to do this, but the way I bind off the button bands is by picking up a single stitch from the pick up edge and knitting it together with each stitch on the left hand needle during the bind off. It neatly seams itself without any actual sewing, and you have a pretty and clean edge. I’m sure this is standard procedure, but I felt pretty good when I thought of it and it worked. Other such button bands that I worked in the past asked me to cast off and seam. I mention it in case anyone else has occasion to wonder how to avoid seaming on a hemmed edge. I’m all about avoiding seaming these days, which is funny, as I’ve gotten much better at seaming. The original Maude was made when somehow the idea of knitting flat in pieces sounded easier to me than a seamless garment. I think the construction works pretty well, so I’m not changing that part, but the seamed button band was too much.
So, all that’s left to do now on the actual garment is weave in the loose ends from the button bands, sew the button holes, attach buttons, and put on a collar of sorts.
I’m really very pleased with how this is going. I’m afraid Maude I will be totally eclipsed by Maude II, at least for a time.
Check out the halo the angora makes!
Warm! Squishy! I am so ready to be done with this and to wear it.